FAITHFULNESS – (2) MONEY

 

1.      Introduction

Luke 16:10-13  If you have not been faithful in unrighteous mammon who will commit to your trust the true riches?

 

·           Jesus teaching on faithfulness as a servant of God.

·           Background:

(i)    Luke 15 – Jesus teaches the value of lost people to God.  (Love of God)

(ii)  Luke 16 – Jesus teaches the reality of heaven and hell.  (Justice of God)

·           Jesus teaches on faithfulness as a servant of God committed to His Cause.

·           Kings Cause – Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost.  Luke 19:10

·           Faithfulness is evidence of the quality of a persons relationship with God.

·           Faithfulness is developed and demonstrated in:

(1)     Small things (least).

(2)     Handling money (unrighteous mammon).

(3)     Serving undertaken on behalf of others (another mans).

·           Faithfulness qualifies a person for entrustment with “true riches”.

“Commit to trust” = entrust for care and good management.  Eg, Paul – 1 Thess 2:4 – Paul qualified for his apostleship.

“Allowed of God”  (1381) – to try, put to rigorous test to examine the quality, to prove character and suitability for leadership.

 

2.      Faithfulness and Finances

a.      Meaning of faithfulness

·           Faithful (4103) – to be firm, sure, reliable, true, trustworthy

·           Trustworthy and reliable in fulfilling responsibility entrusted to him.

·           Faithfulness is demonstrated towards someone with something entrusted.

·           Can God trust you to handle money in such a way that His cause and interests in the earth are advanced?

 

b.      God watches how we handle finances

·           Mk 12:41 – Jesus sat over against the treasury and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury.

·           Money:

(i)       Money is close to the heart  (where treasure is – there the heart is, Matt 6:21).

·             People are secretive about how much money they have, what they do with it.

·             Secrets are things held close to the heart – God wants our heart.

(ii)      Money = life in a tangible form.

·             Money is given for your services – boss doesn’t give $ because he likes you.

·             You gave your life – time, energy, concentration.  Boss gives $ in exchange.

(iii)     Money is either your master or your servant.

·             Luke 10:13  - unrighteous mammon = treacherous wealth.

·             “cannot” = absolute negative Ž impossible to serve God and money.

·             Note:  Love – Hate; Hold – Despise (think against, devalue).

·             Money competes with Christ for your thoughts and affections.

Examples:        Men who failed:                                  Men who succeeded:

                        Gehazi        (2 Kings 5:20-27)              Daniel            (Dan 6:1-4)

                        Judas         (Jn 12:6)                          Builders         (2 Kings 12:15)

                        Ananias      (Acts 5:1-5)                      Barnabas       (Acts)

 

 

3.      How to become Faithful in Finances

Note:  Faithful in finances = being reliable and trustworthy towards God in handling money in such a way that His kingdom and cause are advanced.

 

Simple keys to becoming faithful in finances:

Develop a Positive Attitude to Money  (Make money your friend not an end) Prov 23:7

 

a.      To become faithful in handling of money must have the right attitude towards money ie, how we see and value money.

·             Money can be a friend or foe; help or hinder.

·             Luke 16:11 – the proper handling of money qualifies me for “true riches” ie, money can be a friend to me; to help me go forward naturally and spiritually; to help others; to help the work of God.

·             Many Christians in desire to please God have negative attitudes towards wealth and possessions Ž put up walls in their hearts that resist blessing.  Eg, 1 Tim 6:10  Love of money = root of all evil.

·             When people hold judgements or beliefs “money is evil” Ž not going to access it.

b.      Right attitude.

·             Money is a blessing from God!

·             Gen 12:1-3 – God blessed Abraham by prospering him.

·             Duet 8:18 – Gives power to get wealth.

·             Matt 6:29-30 – Wealth of Solomon – example of God’s goodness.

·             Mal 3:10-11 – God’s promise of financial blessing to tithes.

·             God blesses in many different ways – money is one way.

c.      Poverty is evil.

·             If in heart think poverty is holy or pleases God Ž keep self poor.

·             Job 42:10-15 – Curse Ž loss of all he had;  Blessing Ž restoration 2x.

·             Poverty is a curse not a blessing.  Eg, 3rd  World countries.

·             Must avoid two extremes:  Neither love money nor resist it.  These two extremes are like ditches one either side of the road.

·             God wants to bless you financially but not be obsessed with it.

·             Money is good – money is nice to have – money makes people happy (but not fulfilled).

·             “Money is good”,  “I like money”, “Money is my friend”.

·             If can’t say these things freely then either dishonest with self or need major attitude change.

·             If can say these things without feeling guilt then on the road to right handling of money.